A farmer who lost 40 acres of his land to make way for the now axed HS2 route has revealed that he has still not received any compensation after it was acquired by a compulsory purchase order.
Bernard Kettle, 82, who owns Bower End farm in Madeley, Staffordshire, had 40 acres of his 100-acre site compulsory purchased for the planned Phase 2a up to Crewe in February.
He said that should be compensated with around £25,000 per acre after the plans were first delayed and later shelved, fuming: ‘I haven’t received a penny.’
Planners decided that a tunnel would need to go under his land and a compound built for where it exited the earth. Mr Kettle had 500 cattle and crops galore but said he was left with nothing but a mud bath.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, Mr Kettle said his land had been ‘decimated’, adding: ‘We’ve had what they call early works where they’ve come on and fenced off the fields into small paddocks … and it’s just a mud bath now.’
Mr Kettle is furious because HS2 value his land at £10,000 per acre but the cost now is nearer to £25,000 per acre, meaning if he wanted to buy it back he would struggled to afford it.
He said he has had no money despite work already starting such as digging newt ponds, spraying grass, planting trees with root balls still in plastic bags and putting 11ft high fencing around the trees to protect them from the deer.
‘I’ve been on the farm for 50 years and I have yet to see a deer,’ he quipped.
In light of the northern leg of HS2 being cancelled, Mr Kettle said: ‘It leaves me in limbo because they served a compulsory purchase order. So the land effectively belongs to the Secretary of State.
‘They’ve taken 40 acres and I am left with about 50 acres, but the problem is getting access to the 50 acres because of the erected fencing and I’ve got 67 gates across my farm to get through.’
Mr Kettle continued: ‘I was dealing with a load of idiots because there was no common sense about what they were doing. They were diggin